Celebrating the 2020 philanthropy award winners

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The four philanthropy awards celebrate outstanding Ohio philanthropists who have made significant contributions to philanthropy in diversity, equity and inclusion; as an emerging leader; through innovation; or a lifetime of work. Awardees are nominated by their peers, nonprofit leaders, the public and staff, and the board of trustees selects the winners. 

We celebrated the 2020 winners at the Philanthropy Forward ’20 virtual conference on September 24, 2020. Congratulations to Adrienne Mundorf, Dan Keenan, The Raymond John Wean Foundation and Sam Barone. Watch the 2020 awards presentation with remarks from the winners below.


Emerging leader Adrienne Mundorf

The 2020 Emerging Ohio Philanthropist Awardee is Adrienne Mundorf, the senior program director for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, where she provides leadership and oversight for the foundation’s grantmaking work.

The emerging leader award recognizes someone, regardless of age, who has engaged in philanthropy for the first time during the last few years and shows amazing potential. They showcase leadership in advancing philanthropy, engagement beyond a single community, creativity in a philanthropic endeavor or project or significant accomplishment in a short period of time. 

“In her four years working in philanthropy, Adrienne has demonstrated remarkable, passionate leadership in numerous ways both in the Cleveland area and statewide,” said Deborah Aubert Thomas, president and CEO of Philanthropy Ohio. 

Her leadership roles include co-chairing Philanthropy Ohio’s Health Initiative Steering Committee and membership on the Philanthropy Ohio Public Policy committee as well as her service as a trustee of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio and of the Church of the Saviour Foundation; she also serves on the Church of the Saviour Metro Ministries Council and has been deeply engaged in the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. In 2019, Adrienne received the Women of Professional Excellence award from the YWCA of Greater Cleveland. 

Philanthropy innovator Dr. Daniel Keenan, Jr.

Dr. Daniel Keenan, Jr. received the 2020 Philanthropy Innovation award for his leadership role in developing and implementing The Collaborative Fund for Educating Remotely and Transforming Schools, a public-private partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and Governor’s Office. 

The Innovation Award recognizes an individual whose approach to problem-solving explores new and sometimes disruptive paths in their philanthropic work. Such innovations often include public-private partnerships, leveraging resources, new collaborations and grantmaking strategies. 

The COVID-19 pandemic upended the educational landscape, resulting in profound challenges for school districts to deliver effective virtual instruction. The Collaborative Fund for Educating Remotely and Transforming Schools, of which Dan is the primary architect, showcases his forward-thinking approach. The fund aims to ensure equitable learning experiences and eliminate disparities in accessing education so that all students have meaningful, productive learning. 

“We are pleased to honor Dan Keenan for his leadership in developing the Ohio Collaborative Fund for Educating Remotely and Transforming Schools, a public-private partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and Governor’s Office,” said Deborah Aubert Thomas, president & CEO of Philanthropy Ohio. 

Keenan spearheaded the project, which Philanthropy Ohio is managing, engaging over 20 funders whose contributions are being matched 3:1 by the state with grants to public schools. Keenan has led the Jennings Foundation for five years, where he brings his experience as a teacher, administrator and superintendent to its work of granting about $3 million a year to public schools across Ohio.  

Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The Raymond John Wean Foundation

This year’s Michael G. Shinn Award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated a significant contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy. Nominees have made outstanding contributions to the field by building bridges; championing the acceptance, respect and inclusion of all; are dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion; and promote justice and fairness.

Michael G. Shinn was founder of the Shinn Family Foundation and served as secretary of the Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees until his death in 2015. He chaired our diversity, equity and inclusion committee and led Philanthropy Ohio’s work in this arena. The board created this award in his honor and presented it for the first time in 2015. 

The Raymond John Wean Foundation is this year’s award winner based on their deep internal journey and community work on diversity, equity and inclusion. From its initial step of sending two staff to REI training in 2016, the journey blossomed into full board participation, sponsored trainings for community stakeholders in racial equity work and awarding grants and measuring foundation success using a racial equity lens. 

“We are so very pleased to present this year’s award to the Raymond John Wean Foundation, recognizing the organization’s leadership and commitment to diversity, a commitment that has had such significant impact in the Mahoning Valley and beyond,” said Philanthropy Ohio President & CEO Deborah Aubert Thomas. 

The Wean Foundation’s journey has progressively deepened from awareness, to learning, to action. In turn, the staff and board have provided a blueprint for others in our field to follow. Their actions demonstrate a true commitment to advancing racial equity and inclusion, moving one step closer to creating a more equitable society. 

Ohio Philanthropy Awardee Samuel Barone

This year marks the 18th year for the award for lifetime achievement – the Ohio Philanthropy Award. Nominees for the award should demonstrate three broad areas of achievement: long-standing leadership in advancing philanthropy, creativity in responding to problems and significant positive impact on philanthropy. 

This year’s awardee – Samuel Barone – has demonstrated all of these achievement areas. Sam was hired as the first executive director for the Knox County Foundation in 2002, and grew the foundation from an asset size of $21 million, to over $80 million. Today, the foundation gives about $4 million annually in local grants, including more than $1 million in college scholarships. 

Sam officially retired in June but will continue serving the community as vice president of the Knox County Hospital Board, as a board member for the Foundation Park Conservancy and as a committee member overseeing a local arts collection. 

“Mr. Barone is receiving this year’s award in recognition of his 18-year leadership of the community foundation, where he grew assets four-fold and collaborated to improve the lives of those living in Knox County and we are excited to present this award to him,” said Deborah Aubert Thomas, president and CEO of Philanthropy Ohio. 

Under Barone’s leadership, the foundation worked alongside other organizations over 15 years to take an abandoned industrial site to what became the Ariel Foundation Park, repurposed for the recreational and economic benefit of area residents. As his nominator said, “His passion for the people of this community… and philanthropic heart will carry on into retirement and he will always be a life-long partner of the Knox County Foundation.” 

Jessica Howard
Manager, Communications & Membership
Philanthropy Ohio


Blog Author: 
Please log in to add comment.